Toulouse did enough to overcome a spirited performance by Bordeaux and claim a 21-9 victory in the Champions Cup semi-final.
The match kicked off in turgid conditions with pouring rain hampering both sides from stringing together attractive rugby. Bordeaux were the first to strike through the boot of captain Matthieu Jalibert, but Toulouse hit back soon after when Romain Ntamack’s wide pass was flicked into the hands of wing Matthis Lebel.
Bordeaux came into the game after a disrupted week of training, a Covid-19 scare forcing them into training in groups of three. Despite the disruptions, the underdogs put up a physical fight and were perhaps unfortunate to go into half time 8-6 down after a yellow card to Cameron Woki.
The sun came out in the second half but the rugby remained cagey. Ntamack and Jalibert exchanged penalties and neither side could find ascendency. Finally, it was star scrumhalf Antoine Dupont who broke the deadlock in the closing stages when he finished off a superb team try for Toulouse.
As the clock ticked into the red, Toulouse did enough to withstand a sustained onslaught from Bordeaux and booted the ball into touch to seal their place in the Champions Cup final. They will face the winner of Leinster vs La Rochelle who square up in tomorrow’s semi-final.
Cheslin Kolbe had a few bright-spark moments, but it was his superb aerial take which provided Toulouse the game breaker needed to get their dangerous backline on to the front foot. Kolbe outleapt his opposite man to secure the ball for Toulouse, who then recycled through the phases with Dupont eventually scoring what proved to be the game-winning try.
Tries: Lebel, Dupont; Conversion: Ntamack; Penalties: Ntamack (3).
Penalties: Jalibert (3).